Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman: 2013 - 2014 Annual Report
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About the TIO Council

The Council is comprised of five representatives from service providers and five consumer representatives, with an independent chairman.

Its responsibilities include maintaining the Ombudsman’s independence, and monitoring and making recommendations about amendments to the TIO Constitution.

Council Chairman's message

Andrew Dyer

In the past year we have continued to see change and improvement at the TIO.

Council was active in a number of initiatives to ensure that the TIO is an effective and leading dispute resolution service for the telecommunications industry. These included jurisdiction changes and increasing stakeholder feedback channels for greater transparency of the TIO.

Council was also pleased to support the development and introduction of an Enterprise Agreement.  

Progress was made on a unitary governance structure that will combine the current TIO Board and Council. A joint Transition Committee worked through the year to design the proposed governance arrangements and consult on that design. It is expected that unitary governance will come into effect in the 2013-14 financial year once final consultations and approvals are completed.

Complaints reduced significantly from the two previous financial years. I commend industry actions to reduce the causes of complaints and handle complaints better. I look forward to further reductions as these actions by industry along with compliance to the new Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code take effect.  

Changes to the TIO Constitution included an increase to the Ombudsman’s determination and recommendation powers, effective 1 July 2012. We also approved changes to the time limits for consumers to make a complaint to the TIO, effective 1 July 2013. 

Working with Council, the TIO commenced a redraft of the current TIO Constitution into clearer language. We expect to present the final version of the Constitution to the TIO’s new unitary governance body for approval during 2013-14.

Over the coming year, Council will continue to monitor industry and policy changes, and their potential impact on the TIO. We will also focus on the TIO’s capacity to identify and manage systemic issues along with the TIO’s efficiency in complaint handling.

During the year, Ombudsman Simon Cohen and Deputy Ombudsman Diane Carmody were re-appointed to their roles on the recommendation of the Council. The re-appointments reflect our recognition of their dedication and leadership to the Scheme. I thank them both for their enormous contribution to the TIO. 

I sincerely thank Council for their contributions throughout the year, particularly Teresa Corbin and Chris Dodds for their efforts on the Transition Committee. I would also like to acknowledge John Wilkes, who departed Council during the year, for his service, and congratulate Teresa Corbin and Dr Paul Harrison on their reappointment to Council.

Finally, on behalf of Council, I express our appreciation to the TIO Board for their support and guidance to the TIO and for working with Council throughout the year.

Andrew Dyer

Chairman of Council

About the TIO Council

The Council is comprised of five representatives from service providers and five consumer representatives, with an independent chairman.

Its responsibilities include maintaining the Ombudsman’s independence, and monitoring and making recommendations about amendments to the TIO Constitution.